Just over a year ago, in July of 2012, Conductor published a mini study pointing out that demand for SEO professionals had been growing significantly. We decided to take a look again – and even given how close we are to the industry, we were still blown away when we looked at growth in professionals on LinkedIn with ‘SEO’ in their job title or description. Today we are publishing an update that shows the torrid growth rate in SEO professionals continues. Now, nearly a million professionals identify as being an SEO practitioner or having SEO skills, a full 286% more than they did in July of 2011.
Why the Growth of SEO Professionals?
The logical question to ask when considering this new data is ‘why’? What is the driver of the growth in professionals who identify as an SEO professional or as having SEO skills?
I think it’s fair to say that changes in a workforce are downstream from shifts in perceptions of the discipline. That is, workers gravitate towards a discipline that is in increasing demand and whose practice is viewed with increasing merit in the offices of budget holders and decision makers.
A recent study by econsultancy surveyed in-house marketers for the perceived ROI of marketing channels. They found that SEO receive the top marks of all marketing channels, with 3 out of 4 (75%) marketers rating it as having ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ ROI.
This leading perception in the eyes of marketer of SEO as a marketing channel, is an upstream driver of the booming rate at which marketing professionals are embracing SEO and adding SEO skills to their LinkedIn profiles. This general shift is very much inline with the general maturation of the SEO industry we at Conductor have been observing in the last 12 months or so. This has happened before in marketing – and its usually indicative of a shift from an optional customer acquisition tactic to a foundation of a solid marketing plan. As this happens increasingly marketers get the headcount, budget and advanced technology they need to succeed and capture their share of the search pie.
To be sure, we’re still relatively at the beginning. There remains substantial challenges for SEO professionals, both in-house and those practicing at agencies, and there is always more budget and headcount to be had, better content to write, better links to build. And never enough time (which is where SEO technology comes in, of course.)
Clearly the latest data suggests that the demand for SEO professionals has never been greater.
What are you seeing?